I’d just opened the pack.

Just tore off the cellophane to reveal 20 perfect, menthol beauties waiting for me to suck on them like it was their birthday. ‘Course that tell-tale crinkle is like a goddamned mating call in my neighborhood. It was only a matter of time before some motherfucker came crawling outta the woodwork to bum one, like some long-lost family member after you hit the lotto.

As soon as I screwed one into my mouth and sparked the flint, I heard it: “Hey lil’ mama, lemme get one a them.”

Told you.

I silently held the open pack out to him, squinting through the smoke curling around my nose to get a good look at him. He was cute. Young, tall, with dreads pulled up into a pineapple on top of his head. We stood there in silence for a few moments, pulling long draws off our cigarettes. I was waiting for it. I was waiting for it because it always happens at the gas station. Always in the parking lot, and always at night.

“You gotta man?”

There it is.

“Married,” I grunted, tossing my cigarette and walking to my car.

“He ain’t gotta know,” he smiled crookedly.

“True,” I replied lightly with one foot in the car, “but I already got one he don’t know about and two dicks is a lot for any bitch to deal with.”